Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Sunny Sunday setting a false sense of security

Okay, okay, so the title for this entry encompasses alliteration but that wasn't really my intention!!

It's a glorious day outside today, what with all the rain we've been having yet again, one should be filled with gladness, rather than that rather cynical sense of doom that this delightful mock March day will soon be underneath a few centimetres of snow or, at the very least, the carpet of green shoots appearing in my front garden will be shocked to death or burnt brown through a late cold snap.

However, rather than dwelling in this frame, we have taken advantage of the warmth and sunshine to get outside and do some desperate tidying and sorting out after a good long walk over the fields with the dog this morning.

The chooks have been recipients of their annual rake over ;-)  We rake the top layer of muck off their run area and then re-lay it with fresh bark and wood chippings from a local horse yard. We've also decided to lift some of their run off the ground because they've been living in a quagmire since the rain began and I feel desperately sorry for them. We have put a couple of pallets in to give them an island higher than the swamp and the other is for them to have their waterer on so that it doesn't continually get crap kicked into it.

Mr Beehive has been smashing up various parts of the patio and back path still on the search for where various drains go. We 'think' we've finally found the majority of outlets, many of which were just hidden over with a patio slab and sand. This could well have been partially to blame to our flood in 2012.

We're currently awaiting the return of our planning permission to see whether or not we get the go ahead for knocking down our old garage/barn before it falls down and rebuilding a new garage/studio/annexe. Hopefully, if we do, we should start on this over the summer. It will give us a spare bedroom alongside a studio area that Mr Beehive could use when he works from home and where I will take my sewing. We might have to evict the drum kit there too!

Other new things this year will are the fact I'm now back playing my clarinet again on a regular basis. I'm currently playing with a local wind ensemble. Interestingly I was asked to play through a lady I met on a beekeeping course, who I'm hoping will mentor me when we get our bees...which are still on the horizon. We now have our hives, but they need painting and assembling. They will go right in the far corner of this picture:

I think we'll either need another one of these sunny days for this...or a new garage that isn't going to leak all over newly painted hives!

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

2014 and a calm and peaceable end to our year (thank you!)

A very Happy New Year to you all!

I hope you've had a great holiday period with family and friends.
Ours has been filled with relatives and friends and we've had a great time.

I like this time of year to hunker down in front of the fire, to talk long leisurely walks with the dogs, catch up with pals and generally border on hibernation.

The weather has been intermittently kind, although the children have been disappointed that this is pretty much their first Christmas without snow. We have had some glorious days with blue skies that have enabled us to walk through frost hardened fields and enjoy the beauty of the stark bare landscape in winter.

Then there have been days like today whereupon we had to dress up in all our waterproofs for a shortish walk around the fields. These walks tend to be military style hikes as there is less ability to talk to each other as we concentrate on staying upright in the mud or struggle to hear any sounds other than the rain beating on the outsides of our hoods. It is days like this that make us grateful for where we are a year on from last Christmas where we were all living in one room for six months after our flood and also that make us jittery and check the level of the well at least once a day to ensure the pump is working.

I have given up making New Year's resolutions because I strongly feel that they just set you up to fail during the first few months of a new year, I prefer to have one or two goals: things I'd like to achieve, do or places I'd like to go.

I have finally joined the gym so I'm going to at least take stock of my fitness levels what with our 5 peaks hike looming very fast on the horizon. I also want to feel comfortable swimming with the kids on holiday this summer rather than a beached whale underneath a shroud.
I have two big fortieth birthdays this year, one belonging to my sister and the other a friend and I'd like to feel good in a nice dress for both of these occasions.

I'm going to slowly work through the house and have a really, really big de-clutter over the next month. I started this morning on my drawers in the kitchen and am gradually boxing things into clear plastic boxes so I can see at a glance what I have where. Once I've done the kitchen I'll start on wardrobes and bedrooms.

Another thing I want to make more time for this year is crafting again. I want to get my sewing machine out more and also spend more time knitting.

One thing we are going to do is open our Good Times Jar tomorrow evening and take delight in recalling the memories of 2013 that we put inside it and we will then start a new one for 2014.

Other than that, the diary is currently  light for the year, which I'm kind of relishing at the moment. I know it will soon begin to fill up and the joys of watching this season fade into the next will soon begin hurtling me through the year once more.

But for now, I'm going to begin 2014 in front of a fire, listening to the snoring of the dogs, the laughing of the children playing in the den, the turning pages of my brother in law's book as he sits and reads and the clattering of Mr Beehive setting about a new batch of cider making in the kitchen. Ah...bliss!